Tuesday, October 4, 2011

our old house

Long time followers of my blog will know that Mike and I are mostly do-it-yourselfers.

When we wanted a new kitchen, we did it ourselves.  You may remember my kitchen chronicles from a few summers ago.  We painted our dining room, living room, and hallway about a year ago (or was it longer?)

This time, it's the exterior-a monumental job.

Our house was built in 1935, and still has most of it's original windows (six over six and four over fours) and cedar shake siding.   While I love the charm these features offer, they are a PAIN IN THE BUTT to maintain.
But maintain we must, and since the exterior was last painted the week after Charlie was born (FOURTEEN years ago) it was past time to tackle this project.
Mike started on the south side, since it was in the worst shape.  Scraping, sanding, sealing, priming, removing bird's nests from fan vents....
And then it was time to pick a color scheme.  Oh my, there are far too many choices!  And since I adore color, in all of it's variety, it was tough to decide.

When you live in the city, and have close neighbors, you need to choose something that fits in with the rest of your immediate area.  (Well, you don't NEED to, but I think it's the kind thing to do.  Which is why we vetoed Charlie's suggestion that we paint it navy blue.)
After much deliberation, sampling, and playing with color on-line, we made our decision.  For the main body of the house 'Classic Taupe'.  A bit darker than our current creamy color, but still neutral, and not a glaring change, so no need for multiple coats of paint.  For the trim, we are keeping our rust/terracotta color.  We added that accent to our house several years ago, all of our trim used to be a french blue, but one year I got the idea that we needed to add a little more zing to our house, so I went around and painted all of the outer trim, and our side door, a rich rust color that accents the brick on the front of our house, and seemed to work with the remaining blue trim and shutters.  Now all of the rust will get a clean fresh coat, the color which closely matched our existing trim was 'Firebrick'.

I felt it was time for a change from the blue, and after consulting my color wheel determined that we needed to find a green that would work.  Again, far too many choices, but we settled on 'Old Vine'.  Mike was skeptical, but as we are progressing on the project the color is growing on him (as well as seeping into his skin and fingernails...).
We have been blessed with amazing weather, with highs in the low 80's forecast for all of this week.  There have only been a couple of days in the last few weeks when Mike was unable to get out and work due to weather.  Please everyone cross your fingers that the weather will hold until we can finish!
The south side is mostly complete, we are just waiting on a new storm window for the living room to finish it off.  Mike is almost done with the front side that faces Hamline Avenue, now we can really see how the colors accent our brick, and fit in well with the giant pine trees in our front yard.
While Mike does the hard part, I have been painting storm windows in our back yard, scraping extra paint off of window glass, and painting trim.  With our style of window, it is far easier to paint over the glass and then remove it, rather than trying to tape off every individual pane of glass.  Mike has had to do a lot of reglazing of the windows and storms as he goes, he has become quite expert at it!  Music helps the job go better.
We are very pleased with our paint, Behr exterior.  We switched to Behr paints several years ago, the quality is exceptional and the colors are gorgeous.  This time around we selected the paint with primer, and I love it's consistency and coverage.  No, Behr didn't give me any paint to tell you that.  I wish!
So here is a before picture of the front, from a few weeks ago.  Can't wait to show you the AFTER!

And this is the side of our house, before....
I am currently on the hunt for some shutters to replace those on our office window (we had a busy woodpecker visit us this summer), the last time I needed to replace shutters I was able to find some at an antique shop.  I prefer older ones, rather than buying brand new, but so far have not found some that are the correct size.  I want old ones not only for their character, but for their price!  For the price of brand new wooden shutters, I could buy two new storm windows-and we need those far more.

So hopefully once the first snow flies our home will be done and ready for winter, and then we can find inside projects to tackle.  Shhhh-don't tell Mike I said that.

Do YOU do it yourself?  Do you do it because you enjoy it, or to save money?  Or are you lucky enough to have a big budget, and people?  Lately, I am wishing I had both of those things...

1 comment:

  1. Your house has SO much charm! I love it. Wonderful photos. I loved the old colors, but I also love the new. And, you're right, they look great with the brick!


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